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Valley Biz Briefs: July 15 – Fresno County Rail Vote / More

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 8.35.59 AMHigh Speed Rail Vote In Fresno County

Led by Supervisor Debbie Poochigian the Fresno County Board of Supervisors is expected to pass a resolution expressing “ strong concerns” about the California High Speed Rail project , a project that broke ground in Fresno only yesterday. Poochigian’s measure claims the project has faced delays,higher costs  and now an uncertain future with a flawed plan. The board backed the project in2007. Now the resolution calls the bullet train  a “boondoggle”.
Fresno County’s BOS would join Kings County and Kern County in opposition with each of those boards actually filing legal action.
County supervisor Henry Perea, a strong supporter says “it is unlikely that Fresno County’s action will have any effect on the project’s fate except to put in question whether the county is awarded the 1500 job Heavy Maintenance  Station location. ”This is a job killer akin to the resolution  that pushed UC to go Merced County some years ago.” The issue of whether the rail project complies with Prop 1A is expected to be settled in the next week or so when an appellate court rules on a Kings County lawsuit. “Why not wait to vote until we hear what the court says in the next few days” asks Perea. A nose count suggests the  board will oppose the project.

 
California Mortgage Rates Up to 4.07%

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace’s current mortgage rates in California for mortgages increased 6 basis points from 4.01% to 4.07%. State mortgage rates today ranged from the lowest rate of 3.94% (NE) to the highest rate of 4.13% (MD, NV). California mortgage rates today are 3 basis points higher than the national average rate of 4.04%.
The California mortgage interest rate on July 15, 2014 is up 3 basis points from from last week’s average California rate of 4.04%.

Corn / Oil Trade Lower

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 6.36.01 AMKey commodities are trading lower today – both bullish for the California economy. Corn for September delivery is trading at $3.74 and WTI Oil for August has dropped to $99.69 – falling $1.22 so far today.The price has dropped from nearly $107 in mid-June as the world was fearful of Middle East turmoil.

Friant Districts Get 13,500 AF

Water starved Friant Water District in the the Central Valley got a surprise pulse of water this week as the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors let lose of 13,500 af they would have taken from Millerton that instead will delivered to water districts down the Fraint Kern Canal. The price was right too says Friant GM Ron Jacobsma compared to the exorbitant prices some are paying to get water trades. The water is being delivered this week to Terra Bella, Orange Cove, Stone Corral,Lindmore and Kern/Tulare IDs. Jacobsma says the district is still lobbying the Bureau of Reclamation to make some Northern California water available to the South Valley districts t who have been offered a zero supply allocation this year. “There is serious anxiety as summer wares on.”

Leprino Expanding Whey Plant

Leprino West cheese plant in Lemoore is expanding its whey production plant according to a city permit valued at $800,000. The facility will be expanded by a modest 10,000 sf.

SCE Power Line To Complete Construction
Southern California Edison is nearing completion of the controversial Cross Valley Loop project – an electric transmission circuit between its Big Creek hydroelectric facility in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with its Rector Substation near Visalia.

Bill DeLain, Region Manager for SCE’s Local Public Affairs says the big project first approved in 2008 should wind up early this Fall. After years of planning and public hearings the  18.5 mile construction work started in 2012. The route passes through the county’s citrus belt from Ivanhoe through Elderwood and up to the Big Creek power line in the foothills.SCE is erecting  63 ft tall power lines along a 100 ft right of way.

Tulare’s Cartmill Interchange To Break Ground

Tulare will hold a ceremony this Wednesday to launch construction of the $25 million remodel of the the Cartmill Interchange. The  project is expected to set the stage for commercial activity on the city’s north end and should wind up in November 2015.

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